Threes are sort of a big deal for me. You know… the number three? I’m not quite as obsessed with threes as a certain musician, and so it’s something I don’t pay attention to all the time, but sometimes there are those things that keep popping up in your life and you have to sit down and acknowledge them and say “Hey, how’s it going?” And one of those things for me is the number three.
I was born on March 3rd. Yes, 3/3, no matter where in the world you are or in what order you write your dates. Flip it around, and it’s still 3/3. I don’t remember my golden birthday (that day on which your age matches the day of your birth – for me, my 3rd birthday), and I don’t remember what I was doing on my 13th birthday either. Other than being an awkward 13 year-old (as we all are). But I do remember being fascinated by my 23rd birthday. I turned 23 on March 3rd, 2003. At 11:03pm, which when you switch it to military time is 23:03. Look at all those number overlaps! I was certain that it meant something! Big things were in the works!
And I suppose, looking back on it, big things did happen. I got a full-time job that year, the one I would keep for 5 years until a dream sent me back to school to get my art degree (but that’s another story for another entry). It wasn’t a creative job, and I didn’t give it my all most days, but it taught me some important things about work and organization and dealing with other people. All sorts of other people – from different ages, levels of education, responsibility, countries, and backgrounds. Difficult people and easy people. And I got through it and took those things with me, and while it wasn’t a creative or necessarily fulfilling point in my life, not anything I would want to repeat, and something that some days felt like it was half a step from killing me, it was (in retrospect) good for me. It allowed me to get to the point where I was comfortable enough (with a little terror, true) in leaving that job and throwing caution to the wind (along with a good deal of planning) and turning my life in a creative, academic direction. And I really had a better appreciation for school the second time around.
Then the 30s hit. For someone who, as a younger person, never even thought about getting older, my 30s are a strange sort of time. In some ways I feel behind the times, like I’ve waited too long and that younger people are already ‘ahead’ of me. I sometimes feel like I’m running out of time – “already a few years into my 30s? I’ll never get it all done!” But on those sorts of days I try to stop and remember that no, I’m where I need to be because this is where I am. That I have lived a life that has brought me to this point, and not to borrow worry or to look for things that are ‘wrong’. It’s not easy, but having those years under my belt is okay. It’s a good thing. I’m young enough to do things, and old enough to appreciate them. (I hope!) And already, my 30s have been busy! Not without challenges and terror and anxiety, but when it’s not overwhelming I realize that the terror means I’m maybe doing something right.
I graduated a few months after my 30th birthday, which is another good 3-year, and I got my current job the next year. 31 isn’t as good of a 3-year, but it’s not bad. 32 was pretty quiet, but it had an up-swing of art. I joined the Art Guild and started getting out in more shows. I sold a few things (mainly to friends, but it counts!) and became a member of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Beyond that, I took care of a few surgeries and a TON of expensive dental work. I think 32 is going to be one of those years that didn’t seem like much at the time, but that I’ll look back on and go “wow!” about the stuff that went on.
And now… 33. I had my birthday this past Sunday. I’m 33 in 2013, which is another good number overlap. It was pretty quiet, as both friends and family alike were sick, causing true celebrations to be muted or rescheduled (not that I’m a big celebrator anyway), so I did a few things on my own. I got a few presents, got a massage, did some clothes shopping (the theme was apparently black, white, and that coral-orange that’s popular this season), made sure the studio was cleaned up from the rush of pre-Chilly Fest chaos. Quiet and calm because it feels like 33 is going to bring so much more in all parts of my life – work, art, social – and I’ll need the calm moments to help get through it. I’m feeling like I’m on the edge of something, and that’s a deliciously dangerous feeling.
On the books for 33?
✦ Changes at Work ✦ Exercise ✦ Health ✦ Friends ✦ More Art 😉 ✦
(photo is Three Birds in Snow, found at wallpaperskd.com)